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Blues Highlights: The Rollin’ Stones Debut

On July 12, 1962, the very first performance The Rollin’ Stones took place at The Marque Club in London, England, where the band performed covers of Chuck Berry and Chicago blues musicians.  The band’s primordial lineup consisted of vocalist Mick Jagger, guitarists Brian Jones and Keith Richards, bassist Dick Taylor, keyboardist Ian Stewart, and drummer Mick Avoy. Once childhood friends, Jagger and Richards met by chance at a train  station in late 1960. Jagger had in his possession records of Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry and the two renewed their friendship over a love of blues, R&B, and rock music; Richards also joined Jagger’s band in which Taylor also played. The pair befriended Jones after being blown away by his prowess  as a slide guitarist. At that time, Jones was a member of Alex Korner’s Blues Incorporated, which also included future Stones’ members Ian Stewart and Charlie Watts.

According to Richards, Jones came up with the band’s soon to be legendary name after spotting a Muddy Waters album on the floor with the track “Rollin’ Stone” on it while trying to book a gig over the phone. As fate would have it, Alex Korner’s band was unable to perform and the young Stones jumped at the opportunity to take the stage for their debut. Jagger, Jones, and Richards were later joined bassist Bill Wyman and Watts on drums, with Stewart acting as road manager and studio pianist. Built on the foundations of R&B, rock and roll, and the blues, The Rolling Stones (the “g” was added by their first manager) went on to become one of, if not the, biggest groups in the rock history. Photo by Philip Townsend.

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